Iran's Missiles Used in Satellite Launches Threaten Europe, Middle East - Pompeo

© AP Photo / IRINNIn this frame grab from Iranian state TV, a video, a rocket carrying a Payam satellite is launched at Imam Khomeini Space Center, a facility under the control of the country's Defense Ministry, in Semnan province, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. According to Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, the rocket failed to reach the "necessary speed" in the third stage of its launch.
In this frame grab from Iranian state TV, a video, a rocket carrying a Payam satellite is launched at Imam Khomeini Space Center, a facility under the control of the country's Defense Ministry, in Semnan province, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. According to Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, the rocket failed to reach the necessary speed in the third stage of its launch. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Earlier in January, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that if Tehran went ahead with plans to carry out space launches in the coming months, Iran would face more economic and diplomatic pressure.

Iran's failed attempt to launch a satellite into orbit with a three stage rocket demonstrates the Islamic Republic’s intent to develop missiles able to reach as far as Europe, Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Iran Has More Potential Oil Buyers Despite US Sanctions – Deputy Minister

Earlier in the day, Iran attempted to launch a satellite into orbit but the rocket's third stage failed to provide enough speed to reach the orbit, Iranian Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said.

Iran plans a second satellite launch in the coming days in what the nation claims is a space exploration programme, while claiming that rocket launches do not violate a Security Council resolution, related to the country's nuclear programme.

READ MORE: White House Requested Set of Options to Hit Iran – Reports

This photo released by the Fars News Agency claims to show an Iranian satellite launching rocket named Safir-2 - Sputnik International
Iran Launches Satellite Despite Pompeo's Warning, But it Fails to Reach Orbit
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has insisted that the country's space programme does not violate the aforementioned resolution.

Iran has recently made significant progress in its space programme with the launch of its Simorgh Satellite Launch Vehicle in July 2017. The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France in a joint statement condemned the launch, saying it contravened UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Unanimously adopted on 20 July 2015, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 endorsed the international nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The resolution laid out a plan for removing the UN sanctions on Iran in exchange for strict monitoring of its nuclear programme, which the country insists is peaceful.

In this Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 file photo, a part of Arak heavy water nuclear facilities is seen, near the central city of Arak, 150 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. Iranian state television reported on Saturday, April, 19, 2014 that Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi has said a dispute between world powers and the country over its heavy water reactor at Arak has been “virtually resolved.” Iran and world powers are negotiating the terms of a permanent deal over its contested nuclear program - Sputnik International
Iran Moves Toward New Uranium Enrichment – Iranian Nuclear Chief
The United States withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, and Tehran has since accused Washington of violating the UNSC resolution. Iran has also denied that its missile programme violates the resolution. Washington, for its part, has reimposed sanctions against Tehran that had been lifted under the JCPOA. The first package of US restrictions came into force in August. In early November, Washington imposed new sanctions targeting core sectors of Iran's economy.

Following last year's ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, Russia, and Iran announced that the European Union would establish a financial mechanism, known as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), to enable trade with Tehran, bypassing the Trump administration's reimposed restrictions.

READ MORE: Washington Says US Sanctions May Help Force Iran to Scale Back Presence in Syria

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, speaks during the inauguration a newly built extension of the port of Chabahar, near the Pakistani border, on the Gulf of Oman, southeastern Iran, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 - Sputnik International
Catch 22: Sanctions Exemption for Iran Port Lets Tehran Skirt US Restrictions
Last week, Mike Pompeo said Washington was planning to tighten sanctions on Iran. However, Pompeo stressed the United States was ready to "open a new chapter" in relations with the Islamic Republic once it meets the 12 demands that the secretary outlined during an address in May.

Those demands include allowing unlimited international inspections of Iran's nuclear programme, halting Tehran's support for Hezbollah and other militant groups in the region, withdrawing all Iranian military forces from Syria, and releasing all US citizens being detained in the Islamic Republic, among other things.

Tehran, for its part, has responded to those demands by listing its own to European states.

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